Video: Ever Given budges, but not quite enough to re-open Suez Canal

Image: SCA.

Despite assurances from Egyptian authorities that the Suez Canal will re-open later today, uncertainty persists as to exactly when the strategic waterway will become navigable.

The ultra large container ship that has been blocking the Suez Canal for the last week, the Ever Given, has finally moved, but not far enough to allow the re-opening of the strategic waterway, reports the BBC.

Despite an announcement by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) that the canal will re-open later today, the waterway remains closed to the hundreds of vessels that are waiting to transit the canal from both its north and south entrances.

The Ever Given has been hard aground in the sands of the canal since last Tuesday, but efforts by the SCA and a team of international salvors over the weekend to move the huge vessel have been partially successful, with Egyptian authorities saying the ship is pointing “80 per cent in the right direction”.

Shoei Kisen, the ship’s owners, said that although the ship has shifted, it is still at a 20° angle to the channel, which is a significant improvement on the vessel’s aspect from last week. However, the bow of the ship is still aground and will only re-float during high tide later today.

Although the ship has received some rough handling over the last week, her propellers and rudder are undamaged. This greatly increases her chances of pulling clear of the bank as she will be able to use her own engines to free herself — in what will hopefully be the last chapter in this gargantuan rescue effort.

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